An Expert Debunks 9 Common Cleaning Myths Leave a comment

As we continue to prepare for spring cleaning, it’s time to separate fact from fiction when it comes to age-old myths. Alice Shaw-Beckett from Cleanipeda has debunked some of the most common long standing cleaning myths for us. Read on to find out whether newspapers are good for cleaning windows or if Coca-Cola can actually clean your toilet bowl…you might be surprised.


Myth: Horse chestnuts keep spiders away

Verdict: False

This old wives’ tale is in fact false, according to Shaw-Beckett. Lemon juice, on the other hand, is a great natural spider repellent.“Rubbing a wedge of raw lemon around the likely openings where a spider might enter your house can be a good option,” she says. “You can also mix lemon juice in some water and spritz it around the openings. Getting rid of spider webs will also help.”


Myth: Feather dusters remove dust

Verdict: True and False

Despite traditional feather dusters long being marketed as the best option for removing daily dust buildup around your home, they actually only “move dust around and don’t absorb it,” points out Shaw-Beckett. She recommends a reusable damp cloth or microfiber duster. If you’re wedded to feathers, though, Shaw-Beckett notes that ostrich feather dusters have been proven to be highly effective .


Myth: Bitter cucumber peel keeps ants away

Verdict: False

It would be nice if this was actually an effective remedy for this unfortunate summer issue. However, home remedies like this have zero to no effect on repelling ants from invading your home space, according to Shaw-Beckett. In fact, she warns against leaving food scraps out as they are likely to attract pests.


Myth: Bleach cleans everything

Verdict: False

In many households, bleach is staple for heavy duty cleaning. But it turns out it’s not effective at cleaning things like grease-covered surfaces, says Shaw-Beckett.


Myth: Hairspray will remove ink stains

Verdict: True and False

Getting an ink stain on your clothes or your furniture can be a nightmare. Though hairspray might have been an effective solution to this in the past, modern hairsprays don’t contain alcohol, which is what makes them effective at removing ink. Instead, cautions Shaw-Beckett, hairspray can lead to additional stains that will be hard to get out. She recommends using pure alcohol or alcoholic antibacterial hand wash instead.


Myth: Coca-Cola can clean your toilet

Verdict: True

You might be surprised (and a little aghast at exactly what you’ve been drinking!) to hear that Coca-Cola is actually an effective remedy for cleaning your toilet. Shaw-Beckett explains that the effectiveness of this method is due the high level of acid in the drink, which can aid in breaking down gunk and discoloration in your toilet. “That being said, there are other solutions that are quicker and more efficient,” she says. “The Coke would have to sit in the bowl for at least a couple of hours (preferably overnight) and you would still have to scrub it. So you might as well just invest in a good disinfectant spray, some liquid toilet cleaner, and bleach.”


Myth: Newspapers give windows a streak-free shine

Verdict: False

Year ago, this this method would have been true but the material that newspapers are made of now is not strong enough endure a full window cleaning. “Plus, the ink used today is different and can leave residue on the window,” cautions Shaw-Beckett. “Using a good microfiber cloth will do the job just as well, if not better,” she elaborates.


Myth: Vinegar is an effective all-purpose cleaner

Verdict: False

Vinegar works well on most surfaces but just not all. Shaw-Beckett warns that using vinegar on natural surfaces like wood, granite, or marble could damage them.


Myth: Air freshener helps clean the air

Verdict: False

“All an air freshener does is cover up bad odour in a room by perfuming it, not cleaning it,” Shaw-Beckett says. She recommends using an air purifier or simply opening your windows to let fresh air in in lieu of attempting to mask a smell.

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